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Porsche reveals new HD matrix LED headlight technology

Porsche has revealed the new HD matrix LED headlight technology it plans to introduce in 2023, claiming it sets new standards in ‘glare-free’ high beam lighting performance.

Initially to be made available as an option on the facelifted 2023-model-year Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Cayenne Coupé, the new technology differs significantly from that used by current Porsche models, with the high beam function now carried out by two separate light sources in each assembly.

Benjamin Hummel, head of lighting modules at Porsche, says the move was driven by a desire to further emphasise the four-point styling that has become a signature design element of the German car maker in recent years.

To that end, the new headlight forgoes the single high beam unit that sits in the middle of Porsche’s existing LED matrix headlight. It is replaced by two separate units within the lower points of each headlight, or four units overall.

Incorporating new HD LED technology developed in partnership with Bosch, Infineon and Nichia, each unit is imbued with 8192 LEDs or pixels. This provides a combined 32,768 pixels for the high beam function, which operates at an intensity of up to 300lx.

By comparison, Porsche’s existing single-unit LED matrix system offers 84 pixels per headlight, or a combined 168 pixels.

Hummel says the twin high beam set-up provides added homogeneity and performance compared with the single high beam unit currently in use.

“At 300lx, it is possible to project the high beam up to 600m. But it is not only about a certain range. You need good light distribution within the whole field, too. We achieved this with four light sources. The brightness of the centre and side areas can be continuously adjusted for added roadside illumination. Greater illumination leads to better lighting performance,” he said.

The breakthrough that has allowed Porsche to package the high beam function of its new HD matrix LED headlight into two separate units is new micro-LED technology. Each LED is described as having the thickness of a human hair, allowing 8192 separate LEDs or pixels to be packaged in each of the light sources.

A newly developed HD ECU also provides automatic 3D graphic calculation of the lighting contribution of each LED, says Porsche.

In combination with a stereo camera and infrared sensor mounted within the windsceen, the new Porsche headlight provides matrix properties, with fellow road users, on-coming cars and other areas able to be blanked out of the light projection.

“Navigation, traffic, chassis and steering parameters are also part of the calculation,” said Hummel.

The intensity of the high beam light can now be adjusted in 124 different steps, with 60Hz operation enabing a refresh in the projection every 16 milliseconds. This is claimed to reduce glare and dazzle on road signs and the like.

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